Monday, December 31, 2012

My New Year's Gift to You

I like to go against the tide, struggle upstream, and take the lesser trodden path. So, no best of or retrospective lists for me. Disclaimer: I reserve the right to make a list later.

But for now, my New Year's gift is the debunking.

  • 40 squares. You're welcome.
  • That math thing I'm not even going to attempt. Just remember PEMDAS. Parentheses Exponents Multiplication Division Addition Subtraction.
  • Clicking like and commenting with a number will not give you a magic picture.
  • That hovering over your name thing will only stop your friends from seeing you.
  • Morgan Freeman is not dead. Nor did he write about the school shooting.
  • The world will not end on 12-21. Oh, yeah. You probably figured that out too!!!

Please! Debunk as you wish in the comments. Happy New Debunk Year!

Holiday Cooking

I cooked up a veritable storm this holiday season. Flour was flying, roasts were ribbing, and so on. But wouldn't you know, I didn't get pictures of any of it. The only pictures I have are of the things I didn't make.

My husband's pretty Christmas dinner salad--

And a Trader Joe's cheesecake, but I did make the blackberry sauce--

Back to the prime rib.  If you're going to invest in such a luscious succulent piece of meat, cook it right.  Low and slow.  Here are some simple instructions, and a more detailed explanation of why it works.  This is my cooking advice:  Do not listen to your husband who thinks you should turn up the temperature.  Especially when his idea of cooking is to char the hell out of things.  Works great on the BBQ but doesn't necessarily translate elsewhere.  Stick to your guns and you will have the most perfect prime rib this side of an expensive restaurant.  Trust me.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thematic Photographic: Warmth

Carmi, at Written Inc., hosts Thematic Photographic. Last week's theme was warmth.

I love the warmth of my stained glass candles as the afternoon sun strikes the window.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Aw shucks

My spammers are still being so flattering.

"Can I simply just say what a comfort to finԁ sοmеone that truly understandѕ what they are talking about on the internеt. Yоu actually realize how to bring а problem tο light and maκe it important. More and more people need to look at this and understand this ѕidе of your story. I was surprised yοu are not more popular because you definitely possess the gіft."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Kindness

The Saturday PhotoHunt theme is Kindness.

Homer and Francine showing kindness to each other, sharing the same small patch of sunlight.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Homes Tour 2012

Hello, there!  Welcome to the 2012 edition of the Holiday Homes Tour.  
Thanks to Jen on the Edge for hosting.

My philosophy for holiday decorating is to find new ways of displaying the same old stuff.

I do something different with my wreath every year.  
You may be thinking, oh she just put balls on it, that's not very different...

But wait!  Those are bouncy balls!  
When my son cleaned out his room, I couldn't believe how many he had.

Due to a furniture rearrangement, we no longer had room for the main tree in the den next to the fireplace.  So the den is minimally decorated.  I'm sure my clutter-hating husband is happy about that. Just the recession tree...

And the nutcrackers and snowglobes.

Because I have more ornaments than space on the tree, I am always looking for alternate ways to display the overflow.  I discovered that tomato cages make wonderful trees.  This year, I put all the food shaped ornaments on a tree in my dining nook.  (It's such a small space it doesn't even deserve to be called a room.)  I have the lights off because I really don't like the white LED lights...they are too harsh looking next to the warm colors of the ornaments.

It ought to be easy for you to spot the pickle!  There's more than one.

The Santas, celluloid reindeers, and wooden sleighs go back to my childhood.
(Homer is lurking near the kitchen, his usual spot, in hopes that some food will be forthcoming.  Dream on, Kitty.)

Here's the main tree.  I was annoyed last year because there was not enough room for all my pretty glass ornaments.  So this year I put them all on first, then added a few others.  

Why yes, that is a Tardis.  One of my new additions this year.

Exterminate!  Exterminate!

And last but not least, the cat ornaments are on their own tree this year.  

Thanks for visiting!  Come back anytime!

If you'd like to visit prior years, here are the links:
2008 2009 2010 2011

Friday, December 14, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Bells

This week's Saturday PhotoHunt theme is bells.

These Santa bells are some of my favorite ornaments. There are 6 left...a few were broken over the years. They are probably older than me.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Catmas

We were joking about Christmas sweaters over on facebook, and I admitted mine was adorned with cats.

Well, of course it is.  But who knew Catmas sweaters were a real thing?  Here's my Pinterest board.

Homer says to stop all this idiocy and get him some bacon.

My Sad First Pet Story

Kit Catson should have been my first pet. He showed up, a fuzzy kitten on the doorstep, on a warm summer night during one of my vacation visits with my dad. My memories are also fuzzy, but I believe he was offered tuna that first night. He decided it was a good place to live, even though there was already a dog in the house. The dog, a mellow Samoyed, did not seem to mind. At the end of the visit, my dad offered to give me the cat. (He may remember the story differently but this is my blog, isn't it).

My mother vetoed that. I won't go into her lame excuses as I'm not going to air dirty laundry here.

But she must have felt some guilt, for when my cousins' guinea pigs had babies she allowed me to have one. Frankly, a guinea pig is in no way an adequate substitute for a cat. Their quee quee noise is cute, but they are not cuddly and cleaning a pig cage is just as bad as a litter box. My pig was an albino and while I pretended to be happy about it, its red eyes spooked me.  It had a real name, but my mother and aunt were forever calling it the Pig.

As a farm girl from Minnesota, my mother thought it would be a good idea to have the guinea pig graze in the backyard on spring afternoons.  We had a wire pen for it, and a toy barn for naps.  Thanks to the magic of google searches, I have found the barn.

When I came home from school, my job was to bring the pig in and clean up the barn, which was usually flooded with guinea pig pee.  One afternoon, my mother stopped me before I went in the yard.      She had bad news.  The pig was gone, attacked by a cat.  She said.  It could have been anything.   (As an adult I know we have many kinds of predatory animals and birds around here.)  I was heartbroken.    And my mother forever after insisted cats were evil so there was no hope of ever having one.

What did I get instead of another pet? These two cheap stuffed animals.

I had a parakeet when I was 20 and discovered I was not a bird person.  I finally got a cat of my own at 23 and I've been a crazy cat lady ever since.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm Cracking Up Here

Here's a bit of a spam comment on the time warp post. You know, the post about my little book. Which was full of pictures.

"You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the meѕsage home a little bit, but instead of that, this iѕ magnificent blog."

I just had to laugh.

I must say, Blogger is doing a stellar job at screening out the spam comments.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Time Warp Tuesday: Summer of '64

Thank you, Juggling Jenn, for Time Warp Tuesday!

Here is the beautiful little book "I" (meaning my mother) made for my grandma.

My hat was easy to make.  (Just follow the first 4 steps of the Curious George Boat instructions.)

I remember the train ride was very hot.  What's in that giant box?  I think it might have been a girl-sized doll!

I still have the dolls and their dresses.  I loved all the hair off the dolls' heads so they have to wear wigs now!  The dolls will make a visit to next week's Time Warp.

The tall flowers in my aunt's backyard made me feel like Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Suddenly I Love My Feet

For years, I have bemoaned my fat little hooves. In my youth, it was a struggle to find pretty shoes that fit. Thank you Nordstrom, for carrying a wide width shoe. (Nordy's also gets my kudos for not putting up Xmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, and most importantly for supporting rights.)

In my middle ages, I pretty much gave up on the cute shoes but was always wistful.  If only shoe manufacturers would recognize that all feet are not built the same.  I wanted a pair of Vibram 5 fingers like my sons have, but in order to fit the body of my foot, the shoe's toes are way too long.  I'll stick with my beloved La Plume slides, even though they give me a funky tan line.

But recently a friend had foot surgery.  And then my BFF put this picture on facebook.

And you can imagine what I found on a google search.  You probably shouldn't go there.

Suddenly, I am happy with my little peasant/Roman/Giselle feet.  #2.

The peasant foot "is a very stable, functional foot and ideal for ballerinas on pointe."  I like that.

I took them for granted until now.

Oh, my sweet little feet. They never cause me any problems. No corns, no bunions...  I don't even know what those things are! I can walk and dance and balance and pick up things with my toes.

I am grateful for my feet.

For some freaky confectionary feet, check out Cake Wrecks today.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Voldemort Strikes Again

Wouldn't most muggle teenagers do anything for an extra two and a half weeks of winter vacation? And to have OWLs and NEWTs cancelled? They must be mighty jealous of Hogwarts right now! With the Voldemort virus moving its way into the middle school, as a precaution all classes have been cancelled until January. What is Ernest going to do with himself?

Monday, December 03, 2012

Time Warp Tuesday: Sitting With Santa

Hello, Jenn's Time Warp Tuesday!

This picture just arrived in the mail today!

It's true! It did! Never mind that it was taken, oh when I was 3 or 4. But I just got it today! So that's my time warp!

At Thanksgiving, my dear cousin had found some of our grandmother's pictures in her equally dear sister's garage. So today arrived a lovely packet. Most appreciated was a little booklet of my summer of 1964 which "I" (meaning my mother) made for my grandma that Christmas. I hope to have the booklet scanned by next week.

Back to the picture. I have no memory of this being taken. I look like I'm about to slither off Santa's lap!

Please visit Jenn's blog for more Time Warp participants. (Links to be added in the morning.)

Sunday, December 02, 2012


Ernest unexpectedly had 3 extra days off school last week, when a norovirus spell swept through Hogwarts. It mainly struck the faculty. They were probably exposed to it just before the students returned from break. Ernest used his free time wisely: practicing levitation in the climbing cave, riding on his specialized nimbus 2011, and chatting through the fire (would that be the magical equivalent of skyping?) with his friend from Beauxbatons. Back to the grind of herbology, numerology, magical history and the like on Monday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Which I Decide About My Wreath

When I got the notice about ordering a wreath from my local boy scout, I was torn.  On the one hand, I don't agree with the BSA's policy on a certain issue.  On the other hand, I like my local scout and his troop uses the wreath money for camps.

I decided to support locality and ordered the wreath.

But how to decorate it?  Because as you recall, I just can't bring myself to hang up a plain wreath.

In 2008, the discarded Star Wars toys called me.

In 2009, the previous boy scout forgot to call me, so I had no wreath.  I think I bought a wreath elsewhere the next year, the year of my "recession" decorating.

Last year I got a new boy scout!  He's a sweet, kind boy.  I've known him since first grade.  His sister is in Ernest's grade.  I went a little more traditional.

But this year....what to do?  Well, there is another pile of discarded toys beckoning me.  I've also experimented with some paper creations.  You'll just have to wait until the Holiday Homes tour to see what I come up with.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Time Warp Tuesday: Christmas 1971

Time Warp to 40 some years ago!

I was looking through my old photo albums for other things and came across this picture. I think it's 1971. Sixth grade was my year of the purple glasses.

What struck me about this photo, besides my awesome rocking purple glasses, is that my dad's cat Kit Catson (he let me name the cat) looked a lot like my Homer!  Although Kit had the better tail.  Homer has tail envy and often tucks his meager tail under his luscious body.

I really hadn't connected the two until now.

(This is a photo of the photo from my phone.  I'll scan it later and update the post.)

The rockin' purple glasses deserve a post of their own!

Visit Jenn's Time Warp Tuesday to see hers and other warpers!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Fall

The theme is "fall" at the Saturday PhotoHunt.

A display of fall pumpkins at a local winery.


Typical fall trash, found in the street after Halloween.  Or, this is what falls on the street after Halloween.

It's so easy for my darling Homer to fall asleep.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Am Thankful for....

1) Ernest finally cleaned his room.  Although cleaning meant hauling out the loft bed which he hasn't slept in since we moved it in there 4.5 years ago.  And hauling out all the boxes of stuff that he stored on it or under it which he also hadn't touched in 4.5 years.  And leaving the boxes for me to deal with.  I should set up an ebay store!  Anyone want some lego?  Anyone want to buy a loft bed?

2)  Bribery.  Huh?  Why?  To get the traditional "Bye Mom" picture (his dad was going to be the one at the airport), I waved the promised bundle of travel money at him and said, "Want it?  I want a picture!"  So I got a pose.  He's ONLY going to New York for the week.  I guess he's there.  I got one text:  "The eagle has landed."  These free range children...

That pose was not unlike another pose I found on Facebook...

3) And I'm thankful for the living kit-cat clocks who stay at home.  Tick, tock...

Friday, November 16, 2012

False Advertising Part 2

This could become a regular series.

Normally I cook everything from scratch but sometimes a gal needs a break, you know, and I make a side dish from a box.

I generally have success with "rice boxes" but this one...  it tasted good but looked nothing like the "serving suggestion."

Blech.  Looks like dog food!  Would a dog even eat it?  If I'd rinsed off all the sauce and piled it on a teeny tiny spoon, and enlarged the picture, it might have looked more like it.

I had better luck with the dirty rice.

However the red and green flecks shown on the box were almost invisible in real life.  The green you see is what I added (green onions, bell pepper, and peas).  I can spot one pale red fleck in the middle of my spoonful.

Till next time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Homie

It's been ages since I've shared my darling Homer with you.

He works hard around the house. Homer was a factory cat, so he knows all about supervising the lunchroom.

And he's great at paperwork.

It's an exhausting job, but someone has to do it.